Late Summer Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Rice

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The past few mornings at our house, it’s been about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius). Skies are smoky from California and Canada wildfires; windows are thus closed tightly. The garden is looking a bit wan and worn around the edges; flowers are fading and crabapples are ripening. There is snow on Pike’s Peak. Summer is short here and the growing season is sometimes…

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INSTANT POT: Cream of Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup with Dill and Chives

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Each week this summer, I’ve make a vegetable-based soup to have for lunches or to round out a salad dinner that uses up leftovers. In order to increase my INSTANT POT (IP) skills and to see how many of my soup book’s recipes transfer well to this medium, I’ve mostly made them in the IP or multicooker-the real name for the electric pressure cooker that’s also a sauté pot and a slow cooker. Like folks call all tissue “Kleenex,” we tend to call most multi cookers “Instant Pots.” (Note: I like my regular slow cooker much better than the IP version.) To get food cooked in a flash is the main idea with IP recipes and while I’m rarely in a hurry (in fact, it’s just the opposite in my kitchen), I get the idea. In fact, I do enjoy throwing things in a pot, turning it on, and then being able to disappear to the treadmill or a good book. Magic! Another excellent reason to cook soup this way is there’s much less heat in the kitchen with the stove off.

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KIDS COOK: Easy Chicken and Black Bean Soup with Quesadillas

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Since making soup is one of my very favorite activities, I invited my junior chefs Josiah and Alaena (8 and 6, respectively), over to make one of the newer soups on the blog, EASY CHICKEN- BLACK BEAN SOUP, featured here last March. While some soups and stews are made from scratch ingredients, there are just as many made with a few goodies found ready to go or leftover in your kitchen.

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She’s a Peach! Brown Sugar and Spice Peach Pie

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My good friend, next-door neighbor, and sometime cooking student, Mike (above), knows that if you really don’t want to make pie dough, it’s fine with me that you use purchased refrigerator case pie dough (not frozen). I’d love for you to bake pie however it happens. Hopefully next time –or sometime–you’ll try to make dough; practice definitely improves the product. Take it from me.

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Spiked Gazpacho with Crab

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It’s a drink, it’s an appetizer, a first course, a meal, or all of the above. Definitely cool and summer stunning in chilled, heavy on-the-rocks glasses with a crostini side-car, this Spiked Gazpacho with Crab would eat happily out of small bowls, coffee cups, wine glasses, or … …

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Tomato and Basil Omelet — A Good Reason to Garden

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 The blog, Dave, doggies, and I are on vacation for a bit. See you soon!

Omelets are the perfect example of,

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…

Only you can eat the sad-looking/happy-tasting evidence over..and over…and over. No matter what, you’ll have breakfast, lunch, or dinner in under a couple of minutes because omelets are perfect for any meal and maybe especially so during hot muggy summer days. They’re also inexpensive, healthy, full of protein, and encourage creative invention.  Leftover chicken and cheese? Stuff that in your omelet. A bit of salsa along with a half piece of grilled zucchini? There you go.  Nothing at all but parsley? You have an herb omelet. Not even a sprig of parsley, but a tablespoon of sticky jam at the bottom of the jar? That, too, makes for a tasty omelet filling.

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Steak Salad with Frizzled Shallots, Grilled Brussels Sprouts, and Sweet Potato Chips

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Correction: If you printed this recipe on July 5, there was a mistake in the ingredients for the blue cheese salad dressing. It is corrected today, July 6. Thanks and apologies.

Mid-summer heat. I’m doing a slow burn while the garden is drooping perilously and the grass is being watered daily simply to survive. 4th of July is over and maybe you, like me, are burger-ed/brat-ed out. The thrill of the grill might be gone or at least waning. It’s the time that stretches between holidays without another one in sight until Halloween unless you count that last gasp of summer Labor Day BBQ. I kind of like that part.

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Cherry-Berry Pie for the 4th of July

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BEST SUMMER SIDES FROM MORE TIME AT THE TABLE HERE.

It’s more than ironic that many of the best fruit pies need to be made when the weather is sizzling, sultry, humid, or plain old drippy hot. As a cold-weather fiend, I particularly find this one of the most unhappy cooking situations. I am thus incredibly blessed to live in Colorado where the summer days may be hot, yes, but might also occasionally dip down into the 40’s and even more often into the 50’s with the advent of a good, old-fashioned hail and/or rain storm. In fact, nightly fifty-some temps aren’t unusual even without rain. (Of course that’s why our tomatoes don’t do squat. Thank God we have the best beer in the country to partially make up for that.)

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Cod Poached in Garlicky Broccoli Soup with Fresh Herb Salsa

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So you just can’t decide between soup and fish for dinner. Here’s your answer. Nah, that’s not what this is about. It’s more like I’m crazy about fish cooked in or right there with vegetables. The simple, clean taste in fish or seafood is perfect all on its own; ok, ok, ok. Grilled or sautéed white fish, for example, doesn’t need much more than a bit of butter or lemon. It’s true and I agree. I’m nothing if not crazy about something like Sole Meuniere, Grilled Salmon, or even Fish and Chips when I’m feeling skinny. But there’s more…and more– and I really like figuring that out with a bit more sophisticated dishes like:

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